Ruthenium along with rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium and platinum form a group of elements referred to as the Platinum Group metals (PGM). Ruthenium is a hard, white metal that is not oxidized by air.
Applications of ruthenium
Ruthenium is mainly used in the electronics and chemical industries, while smaller quantities are used in alloys. In electronics it is mainly used in electrical contacts and in the manufacture of microchips. It is used in electrochemicals in the chemical industry. Ruthenium is also used as a catalyst, for example in the removal of hydrogen sulfide from oil refineries and other industrial processes, for the production of ammonia from natural gas and for the production of acetic acid from methanol.
Ruthenium is one of the rarest metals on Earth. It is found as a free metal, sometimes along with platinum, osmium and iridium.
Impact of ruthenium on human health
Ruthenium compounds are relatively rare in most people. All ruthenium compounds should be considered as highly toxic and carcinogenic. Ruthenium compounds stain the skin very vigorously. Ruthenium appears to be highly concentrated in the bones. Ruthenium oxide is highly toxic and volatile.
How can one determine if one has been exposed to ruthenium?
We can measure ruthenium levels in blood and most biological materials.
Determination of metals is done by ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry, Inductively Coupled Argon Plasma Mass Spectrometry), a method that enables the simultaneous detection of many metals. Its sensitivity and accuracy are significantly better than conventional atomic absorption, with the ability to measure metals at concentrations up to 1 in 1015 (1 in 1 quadrillion, ppq)!
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.